Could JaMarcus Russell possibly wind up with the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens?
According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, Russell told people while working out for the Chicago Bears late last week that he has an upcoming tryout with the Ravens. This was divulged by a league source to Hensley’s colleague, Ed Werder.
Hensley wasn’t surprised with the development considering Baltimore’s backup quarterback situation. He cites Tyrod Taylor as completing just 18 passes in two NFL seasons while Caleb Hanie has four career starts in five NFL seasons.
However, the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson says “no workout is currently scheduled between Russell and the Super Bowl Champions,” citing league sources.
Wilson adds that even if the Ravens ultimately work out Russell, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll sign him to a contract. The Bears are reportedly not tendering an offer to Russell despite his solid workout last week.
Bears running back Michael Bush, Russell’s former teammate, says he hopes the Bears give him another chance.
“A lot of people give him a bad rap after his stint in Oakland. He wasn’t put in good situations to become a good player. We had different coordinators. The line was changing every day. The receivers were changing.”
Russell so far has lost 50 pounds in an attempt to get himself back in NFL game shape. His throwing arm is reportedly as strong as Ravens’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco’s, according to Brian Martin, founder of the TEST Football Academy.
“We’ve worked with over a dozen NFL quarterbacks, and the strongest arm I’ve ever seen is Joe Flacco’s. JaMarcus’ arm right now is as strong and accurate as Flacco’s.”
Martin was also upbeat about Russell possibly landing in Baltimore should he be given a chance.
“I think it’s a good spot for him as a potential opportunity and Baltimore has come up in some conversations. He’s okay with being a backup. He wants to come in and learn. The Arizona Cardinals were interested before they picked up Carson Palmer. JaMarcus, if he continues to walk the line and gets in the right system with a great support structure, Baltimore would be a great place for him.”
Russell was drafted out of LSU as the NFL’s top pick in the 2007 draft. He last played in the league in 2009 after three disappointing seasons, racking up 4,083 yards, 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions for a 65.2 QB rating in 31 career games, per ESPN stats.